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Bill Weinberg's blog

Anti-cocaine vaccine approaches human trials

Posted on June 21st, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , .

cocaineRaw Story reported May 12 that researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have successfully used a vaccine to produce a long-lasting anti-cocaine immunity in non-human primates. "The vaccine eats up the cocaine in the blood like a little Pac-man before it can reach the brain," the study’s lead investigator, Dr. Ronald G. Crystal, said in a press release. "We believe this strategy is a win-win for those individuals, among the estimated 1.4 million cocaine users in the United States, who are committed to breaking their addiction to the drug. Even if a person who receives the anti-cocaine vaccine falls off the wagon, cocaine will have no effect." Human clinical trials for the vaccine are expected soon.

Seeing patterns, from Colombia to Cape Town

Africa and the War on DrugsFor those who have been wondering what the truth is behind the media sensationalism about global cartels establishing Africa as their new theater of operations, Africa and the War on Drugs  by Neil Carrier and Gernot Klantschnig (Zed Books, London, 2012) clears the air in a welcome way.

The authors, a pair of British academics, portray a strategy by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to hype the threat and replicate the hardline policies pursued in Latin America and elsewhere on the African continent. Drug trafficking has definitely been growing in Africa in recent years—ironically, the authors argue, as a result of "successes" in Latin America. As the old cartels and their smuggling routes were broken up, new more fragmented networks have sought new routes and markets. This conveniently coincided with South Africa's reintegration to the world economy after the end of apartheid, and more generally with Africa's globalization.

Reefer Rabbis

Posted on May 3rd, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Cannabis ChassidisHere's a little experiment to determine immediately if you will like the book Cannabis Chassidis: The Ancient and Emerging Torah of Drugs, now available from Brooklyn's anarchist-oriented Autonomedia. Author Yoseph Leib has determined that the three letters in the Hebrew word for "smoke," ashan (ayin, shin and nun), work out numerologically to... 420. Get it? Mazel tov, dude!

Truth-telling Iraq vet is medical cannabis user

Posted on April 7th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Tomas YoungTomas Young, a disabled Iraq war veteran in Kansas City, Mo., made fame last month when he announced his intention to end his own life in a scathing open letter to George Bush and Dick Cheney. In the letter, online at TruthDig, Young says he joined the army out of a sense of duty after 9-11—and felt betrayed by his deployment to Iraq:

The Emerald Triangle enters the post-CAMP era

Posted on February 12th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

A market glut and paranoia about criminal cartels getting into the act coincide with the end of the CAMP program. Can Northern California's cannabis industry remake itself along ecological and community-rooted lines?

With the 2012 fall harvest season, Northern California's legendary cannabis-growing Emerald Triangle—centered around the counties of Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity—is at a turning point. And as the old cliché goes, the Chinese character for crisis is made up of the characters for danger and opportunity.

The current juncture is ripe with both.

Political economy of Mexico's narco-nightmare

Posted on January 21st, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

Drug War MexicoAs nightmarish violence continues in Mexico, with horrific massacres and chaotic urban warfare right on the USA's southern border, a couple of academics at England’s University of Sheffield provide a readable 250-page primer on why this is happening now, and take a stab at what can be done to address the crisis—other than escalating it with militarization.

Texas student who refused to wear RFID chip loses appeal

Posted on January 15th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Shadow WatchA true American freedom fighter has her day in court—and loses. This is a blow against freedom, but at least Andrea Hernandez stood up for her rights—and those of all of us. Win or lose—always worthwhile. From the BBC News, Jan. 9:

Mexican cartel cultivation in California? Maybe not.

Posted on January 8th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaFor years, police forces in the Emerald Triangle and elsewhere around backcountry California have been hyping an increasing presence in the region's forests of Mexican and Russian cannabis grow ops linked to criminal mafias and cartels based abroad. Now, refreshingly, a Los Angeles Times story of Jan. 2, "Roots of pot cultivation hard to trace," takes a dispassionate look at the question. The piece opens with a slightly lurid lead about camo-clad federal agents ready to "lock-and-load" in a stake-out on National Forest land in Kern County, fearing attack by Mexican cartel gunmen. But at the end, the piece basically tells us not to believe the hype:

Who's new

  • Baba Israel
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